Alberta government reviewing a provincial policing service

The future of policing could be changing.

The provincial government is giving Albertans the opportunity to learn what the future of policing will look like through the launch of a new website.


The website will provide Albertans with information about the opportunities a provincial police service could bring, such as improved civilian overnight, additional front-line police officers, and increased service levels, a government of Alberta media release said.


“Albertans have told us they want more details about the potential benefits of a provincial police service. As all levels of governments across the country review their policing models, Albertans need to have all the information available to ensure they lead this national discussion and make sure the future of policing in the province meets their needs,” Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Tyler Shandro said.


Although no decisions have been made on proceeding with an Alberta police service, the provincial government is opening the conversation with Albertans about public safety.


“Currently, a number of municipalities and First Nations have their own police services and others are exploring the possibility of setting up their own,” the release said. “Alberta’s government supports this work.”


A grant has been established to support municipalities and First Nations as they explore the possibility of forming their own police service.


Along with increasing the number of officers in rural areas, transitioning to a provincial police service would improve governance and give municipalities more say in setting their own policing priorities, and is expected to provide greater coverage, reduce response times, and lower caseloads per officer, the release said.


A feasibility study highlighting the transition to a provincial police service began in October 2020 by PwC Canada.


The report indicated there are opportunities associated with transitioning to a provincial police service, and offered options for how the service would look.


“Under the current RCMP contract, policing is the same for all eight provinces, three territories and several municipalities that use these services and provides little opportunity for local input to meet their needs,” the release said. “Several provinces and municipalities that currently use RCMP contract policing are considering alternative policing models.”

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